China: International Charter activated for two earthquakes

Earthquakes strike China
International Charter activated by two earthquakes in Gansu Province
Credits: NASA

The "International Charter: Space and Major Disasters" has been activated once more for China when on the morning of 22 July 2013 Gansu Province was hit by two earthquakes with a magnitude between 5.6 and 6.6 approximately and a depth of 20 km. Rescue efforts as well as local and international relief are already being conducted in the affected areas where some of the damages include power outages and disruption of communications. The areas suffering the worst harmful effects from the earthquakes were the counties of Zhang and Min. Still, altogether the Disaster has taken about fifty lives and left hundreds injured, while thousands of buildings have been damaged. The first earthquake stroke the city of Dingxi's surroundings, followed just one hour later by a second earthquake in the same area, together with hundreds of aftershocks. However eight towns in the area have also suffered damage, including Longnan, Tianshui and Lanzhou. Moreover, the earthquakes have also generated mudslides and landslides which, together with the forecast heavy rains in the near-future, may provoke flooding and exacerbate the landslides.